Caleb Medley was shot in the eye in the Aurora movie theater shooting and remains in the intensive care unit in an induced coma. Medley sustained the terrible injuries only days before his wife Katie was due to give birth to a baby boy they plan to name Hugo. She now joins him in the same hospital — just one floor away — where she was set to be induced.
But even if Caleb makes a full recovery and meets his son, what happened late Friday evening at the movie theater could ruin the young family’s finances. Caleb doesn’t have health insurance, and his medical bills could amount to $2 million, according to his family. Longtime friend Michael West has created a website to raise money for Caleb, who has been an aspiring stand-up comedian since the eighth grade. “He needs to get better because he needs to be a dad,” West said.
According to the website, Caleb performed in Denver’s biggest stand-up contest at the Comedy Works on July 18, advancing to the next round. The next night, Caleb and Katie decided to treat themselves to the midnight movie before the couple “officially” became parents. In addition to the fundraising website, friends have set up a Facebook page dedicated to Caleb’s full recovery.
Caleb’s life will be forever altered by this unexpected and horrific event, a constant fear of many uninsured Americans. The Affordable Care Act — much of which will not be fully implemented until 2014 — extends health insurance to millions of uninsured Americans like Caleb.